Hi everyone, I’m Samantha “Sami” Prescott, I have been dressing my whole life and only out and about since the last half of 2012. I am a closeted CD, transgender, non-transitioning, and very part time. I am an aspiring mid-life glamour girl when opportunity presents itself and happily married to a wonderfully accepting and supportive wife. I am truly blessed to have found peace and acceptance within myself and to also have a spouse who encourages me to be happy with who I am, express myself, and get out with others like myself in the real world and in real time.
After my visit to Glamour Boutique, prior to Keystone, I was pleasantly surprised to be contacted by David, who asked if I would be so kind as to write a piece about Keystone their monthly newsletter. Needless to say, I am so happy to be able to share a bit of my latest trip to the 2015 Keystone Conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Without getting into the history of this particular event, to my surprise I found for myself it is not just for those who have, are, or will be transitioning, there is something for everyone. The Harrisburg/Hershey Sheraton has hosted this event since its inception 7 years ago and provide a warm, welcoming, and hospitable environment for all who attend. I can attest to and honestly say that you can attend the whole conference from Wednesday thru Sunday without ever having to leave the hotel grounds, although that would be a challenging endeavor for most. It is quite the perfect place for those who have a fear of being in public or even those who have not yet found a comfort zone within themselves to totally venture out. It is truly a cornucopia for everyone to say the least.
Starting on Wednesday and thru Saturday, there were plenty of workshops during the mornings and afternoons that you could choose from but also workshops available for the spouses, significant others, children, and friends of those who identify as transgender or crossdressers. In between sessions there are luncheons with guest speakers. On Thursday “Lady Valor” Kristin Beck spoke to the attendees. There were plenty of evening activities for all to partake in, with motor coach transportation to and from all of the Conference sponsored destinations. There was a dinner and comedy show, bingo, a trip to the Hollywood Casino at the Penn National Race Track, a large selection of restaurants participating to provide a variety of dinner options for those who wanted to get out to dine. The Dog and Pony Lounge within the Sheraton was open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and live entertainment on all the evenings. The Thursday night karaoke seemed to be quite a hit, I even got myself up to sing a song. All of the activities were structured and geared towards keeping everyone actively engaged from the morning into the late evening. They certainly did that very successfully.
A room off of the lobby was host to an array of vendors where you could find anything from jewelry and shoes right up to laser, electrolysis, and medical consultations and pretty much everything in between. A photographer was available to book photo sessions, I also know there were at least 3 makeup artists there to provide makeovers all of which were available by reservation.
The finale of the Conference was the Gala Ball on Saturday evening, a formal dinner event with a guest speaker, Nichole Maines, a 17-year-old transgender who is transitioning. Born male and living full time female, she and her family were instrumental in ground breaking legislation being passed in Maine that has and will set standards and across the country in regards to acceptance and human rights for the transgender community.
After the Gala, Wicked Jezebel, a band of gender diverse musicians, provided the music for the rest of the evening with a good mix of classic rock, pop, funk, and dance.
So I pretty much just scratched the surface with what embodies this whole life changing experience, at least that is what it was for me. I only registered for the Gala, had some plans to go shopping to the area malls, Tanger Outlets, and visited one or two of the local breweries. I knew I would reconnect with friends I already knew and also meet others for the first time who were coming in from all over. I went to the outlets with a new friend, but nothing else that I had planned outside of the Conference and outside of the people was important. I had a blast having my first 2 professional photo shoots, I met incredibly beautiful people from all over the US, Canada, and even another from Great Britain. I was totally honored being invited as a guest and attending the Vanity Club’s Friday Dinner and pinning ceremony. Tania, Coleen, and all of the VC Sisters that I had the pleasure of meeting were warm and welcoming. The Gala Ball was incredible as was Nichole Maines’ presentation. Sunday morning was the very first time I couldn’t bring myself to scurry off in my daily normalcy “guy mode” without seeing who I could say goodbye to one last time. Life changing to say the least, I am sure at this very moment that EVERYONE that was at Keystone is already thinking and hoping to be there in 2016.
To find out more about Sami you can visit her social networking sites below. We hope you now have a better idea of what the Keystone Conference offers and maybe one day will be able to take a trip there yourself. Conferences such as these are life changing for many of our customers and we really value the services they provide. A huge thank you to Sami for providing us with this story!